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Daily Crunch: WhatsApp responds to privacy backlash

WhatsApp delays enforcement of a controversial privacy change, Apple may get rid of the Touch Bar in future MacBooks and Bumble files to go public. This is your Daily Crunch for January 15, 2021.
The big story: WhatsApp responds to privacy backlash
Earlier this month, WhatsApp sent users a notification asking them to consent to sharing some of their personal data — such as phone number and location — with Facebook (which owns WhatsApp). The alert also said users would have to agree to the terms by February 8 if they wanted to continue using the app.

This change prompted legal threats and an investigation from the Turkish government. Now the company is pushing the enforcement date back three months.
“No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp,” the company said in a post. “We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.”
The tech giants
Uber planning to spin out Postmates’ delivery robot arm — Postmates X is seeking investors in its bid to become a separate company.
Apple said to be planning new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros with MagSafe and Apple processors — This could be the end for the Touch Bar.
Amazon’s newest product lets companies build their own Alexa assistant for cars, apps and video games — Yes, that means your next car could have two Alexas.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Bumble files to go public — The company plans to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange, using the ticker symbol “BMBL.”
Tracy Chou launches Block Party to combat online harassment and abuse — Currently available for Twitter, Block Party helps people filter out the content they don’t want to see.
Everlywell raises $75M from HealthQuest Capital following its recent $175M Series D round — Everlywell develops at-home testing kits for a range of health concerns, and it added a COVID-19 home collection test kit last year.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
Fifteen steps to fundraising a new VC or private equity fund — Launching is easy; fundraising is harder.
Lessons from Top Hat’s acquisition spree — The acquisition of Fountainhead Press marks Top Hat’s third purchase of a publishing company in the past 12 months.
Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson says wisdom lies with your developers — Takeaways from Lawson’s new book “Ask Your Developer.”
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)
Everything else
Video game spending increased 27% in 2020 — According to the latest figures from NPD, spending on gaming hardware, software and accessories was up 25% in December and 27% for the full year.
DOT evaluated 11 GPS replacements and found only one that worked across use cases —  The government wants to create additional redundancy and resiliency in the sector.
The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

Daily Crunch: WhatsApp responds to privacy backlash

Daily Crunch: Samsung unveils Galaxy S21 line

Samsung lowers prices with its latest Galaxy S phones, Google completes its Fitbit acquisition and Beyond Meat is coming to Taco Bell. This is your Daily Crunch for January 14, 2021.
The big story: Samsung unveils Galaxy S21 line
Samsung’s new line of phones includes the S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra, priced at $799, $999 and $1,119 respectively, an across-the-board price cut of $200. Brian Heater writes that the Ultra, in particular, “has one very important trick up its sleeve” — namely compatibility with the S Pen.

All three phones are available for pre-order now and start shipping on January 29.
In addition, Samsung announced the Galaxy Buds Pro, which cost $199 and come with a stated five hours of battery life. And it’s launching a Bluetooth locator, dubbed the Galaxy SmartTag.
The tech giants
Google’s Fitbit acquisition is official — This follows regulatory scrutiny on both sides of the pond.
Amazon’s Ring Neighbors app exposed users’ precise locations and home addresses — The bug made it possible to retrieve the location data on users who posted to the app.
Beyond Meat shares soar after inking deal with Taco Bell on new menu items — Taco Bell announced that it would work with Beyond Meat to come up with new menu items due to be tested in the next year.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Medium acquires social book reading app Glose — Glose has been building iOS, Android and web apps that let you buy, download and read books on your devices.
Tiger Global is raising a new $3.75B venture fund, one year after closing its last — Despite being named Tiger Private Investment Partners XIV, this is actually the firm’s thirteenth fund.
Carbyne raises $25M for a next-generation platform to improve emergency 911 responses — The Israeli startup aims to help emergency services get more complete information about callers, and to provide additional telemedicine services.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
Five consumer hardware VCs share their 2021 investment strategies — Investors are generally bullish on at-home fitness startups.
Poshmark prices IPO above range as public markets continue to YOLO startups — This is the late-2020, early-2021 IPO market in action.
Twelve ‘flexible VCs’ who operate where equity meets revenue share — Founders seeking non-dilutive funding: start here.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)
Everything else
Tech and health companies including Microsoft and Salesforce team up on digital COVID-19 vaccination records — The so-called “Vaccination Credential Initiative” includes a range of big-name companies from both the healthcare and tech industries.
2020 was one of the warmest years in history and indicates mounting risks of climate change — 2020 either edged out or came in just behind 2016 as the warmest year in recorded history, according to data from U.S. government agencies.
The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

Daily Crunch: Samsung unveils Galaxy S21 line

Daily Crunch: Roku buys Quibi’s content library

Quibi’s content will live on, Hyundai may partner with Apple and Donald Trump returns to Twitter. This is your Daily Crunch for January 8, 2021.
The big story: Roku buys Quibi’s content library
If you’re wondering what will happen to Quibi shows like “Most Dangerous Game” and “Chrissy Court,” wonder no longer: They’re going to Roku.

The streaming TV platform announced today that it has acquired the global rights to Quibi’s content library, which it plans to bring to The Roku Channel, free and ad-supported, some this year. This includes “more than a dozen” shows that never got a chance to stream on Quibi before the app shut down.
“The most creative and imaginative minds in Hollywood created groundbreaking content for Quibi that exceeded our expectations,” said Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg in a statement. “We are thrilled that these stories, from the surreal to the sublime, have found a new home on The Roku Channel.”
The tech giants
Shares of Hyundai Motor Co. climb more than 20% on potential EV deal with Apple — Hyundai said discussions are still in the “early stage.”
Google’s plan to replace tracking cookies goes under UK antitrust probe — U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said it’s investigating “suspected breaches of competition law by Google.”
Trump returns to Twitter with what sounds like a concession speech — President Trump only had to wait 12 hours before returning to his social network of choice.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Jobandtalent tops up with $108M for its ‘workforce as a service’ platform — The startup operates a dual-sided platform that connects temp workers with employers.
Detroit’s Ludlow Ventures goes for fund four — The Detroit-based seed-stage firm is in the process of closing its fourth fund of $65 million.
Jumbotail raises $14.2M for its wholesale marketplace in India — Jumbotail said it serves more than 30,000 neighborhood stores, popularly known in India as kiranas.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
VCs discuss gaming’s biggest infrastructure investment opportunities in 2021 — Investors highlighted numerous areas for new opportunity, including specialized engines, next-gen content creation platforms and tools to port desktop experiences to mobile.
What is up with Tesla’s value? — And a bunch of other stocks, for that matter.
The Roblox Gambit — So it turns out that Roblox is worth $29.5 billion.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)
Everything else
Stolen computers are the least of the government’s security worries — The SolarWinds breach is likely to be a bigger cybersecurity threat than any computers stolen during the pro-Trump riot on Wednesday.
Five reforms necessary to create a truly cashless society — Convenience shouldn’t come at the cost of other aspects of commerce.
The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

Daily Crunch: Roku buys Quibi’s content library

Daily Crunch: Telegram prepares to monetize

Telegram will introduce ads, TikTok’s parent company is moving into drug discovery and President Trump continues his battle against Section 230. This is your Daily Crunch for December 23, 2020.
The big story: Telegram prepares to monetize
Telegram founder Pavel Durov said the messaging app will introduce advertising next year on public one-to-many channels. Durov wrote on his Telegram channel the ad platform will be “one that is user-friendly, respects privacy and allows us to cover the costs of server and traffic.”

He also pointed to premium stickers as another way that Telegram could monetize, while emphasizing that existing features will remain free and that he does not support showing ads in private chats.
In addition to discussing the company’s monetization plans, Durov said that Telegram is “approaching” 500 million users.
The tech giants
Nikola’s stock crashes after announcing cancelation of contract with Republic Services for 2,500 garbage trucks — This is the latest deal to unravel for Nikola as it tries to patch up following recent devastating reports.
TikTok parent ByteDance hiring for AI drug discovery team — “We are looking for candidates to join our team and conduct cutting-edge research in drug discovery and manufacturing powered by AI algorithms,” the company said in a job posting.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Chinese autonomous driving startup WeRide bags $200M in funding — The new funding will see WeRide joining hands with Yutong, a 57-year-old company, to make autonomous-driving minibuses and city buses.
Voyager Space Holdings to acquire majority stake in commercial space leader Nanoracks — Nanoracks provided the Bishop Airlock that was installed on the International Space Station.
Honk introduces a real-time, ephemeral messaging app aimed at Gen Z — Instead of sending texts off into the void and hoping for a response, friends on Honk communicate via messages that are shown live as you type.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
Dear Sophie: What’s ahead for US immigration in 2021? — Sophie Alcorn weighs in on what’s next for U.S. visas and green cards.
Looking ahead after 2020’s epic M&A spree — This year, four deals involving chip companies totaled over $100 billion on their own.
Heading into 2021: Venture fundraising, liquidity and the everything bubble — Alex Wilhelm’s final column of the year.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)
Everything else
Trump vetoes major defense bill, citing Section 230 — President Trump has vetoed the $740 million National Defense Authorization Act, a major bill that allocates military funds each year.
XRP cryptocurrency crashes following announcement of SEC suit against Ripple — The XRP token’s value has declined more than 42% in the past 24 hours.
TaskRabbit is resetting customer passwords after finding ‘suspicious activity’ on its network — The company later confirmed the activity was a credential stuffing attack, where existing sets of exposed or breached usernames and passwords are matched against different websites to access accounts.
The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

Daily Crunch: Telegram prepares to monetize

Daily Crunch: Apple announces its best apps of 2020

Apple releases its annual best apps list, a self-driving truck startup raises $350 million and the BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine gets emergency approval in the United Kingdom. This is your Daily Crunch for December 2, 2020.
The big story: Apple announces its best apps of 2020
There were different winners — all selected by App Store editors — for different devices. Home workout app Wakeout! was named the iPhone App of the Year, Disney+ was the Apple TV App of the Year and the productivity app Fantastical was the Mac App of the Year. As for the iPad App of the Year, it went to perhaps the most obvious choice: Zoom.

As far as user popularity goes, Apple said that Zoom was the biggest free iPhone app, followed by TikTok and Disney+ (which must qualify as free on a technicality), while the most popular free iPhone game was Among Us.
The tech giants
Loon’s stratospheric balloons are now teaching themselves to fly better thanks to Google AI — Alphabet’s Loon has been using algorithmic processes to optimize the flight of its stratospheric balloons for years, but the company is now deploying a new navigation system.
Apple’s MagSafe Duo charger is now available — The MagSafe Duo appeared yesterday on Apple’s own store and has delivery estimates as soon as this week.
Google says its News Showcase will add free access to paywalled stories — So far, Google News Showcase has launched in countries including Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, France, U.K. and Australia.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Self-driving trucks startup TuSimple raises $350M from US rail, retail and freight giants — TuSimple was one of the first autonomous trucking startups to emerge in what has become a small-yet-bustling industry.
Virta Health’s behavioral diabetes treatment service is now worth over $1B — Virta aims to reverse the presence of type 2 diabetes and other chronic metabolic conditions by changing a user’s diet and exercise.
Space Perspective raises $7M for its plan to ferry tourists to the edge of space — Spaceship Neptune is designed to carry up to eight passengers on a six-hour journey that will include two hours spent at the upper edge of Earth’s atmosphere.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
From surviving to thriving as a hardware startup — Six strategies from Minut CEO Nils Mattisson.
A roundup of recent unicorn news — So much for a December news slowdown.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)
Everything else
The U.K. approves the BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use — The U.K. is the first country to approve the vaccine for widespread use.
Discovery will launch its own streaming service on January 4 — Discovery is the latest media company to launch a standalone streaming service, and the latest to adopt the simple naming strategy of just adding a plus sign.
Gift Guide: The best books for 2020 recommended by VCs and TechCrunch writers (Part 1) — Includes lots of good books for tech and business readers, plus my recommendation for the non-new, non-tech, yet extremely good novel “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.”
The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

Daily Crunch: Apple announces its best apps of 2020